Who ever knows what the future has in store? I certainly wouldn’t have guessed, while we were all celebrating Independence Day last year, that I had two brain surgeries heading my way over the next eight months. You know that commercial on TV, the one for AT&T where that guy is sitting around with a bunch of kids, asking if “two is better”? He’d better be careful before he asks me — I might give him an answer he doesn’t want to hear!
Yes, friends, Dr. Johnson has opened up the ol’ coconut and opened it up again and I’m here to tell you about it. Truly, life can be amazing! I’m recovering, I know it, other people are noticing it; I’m getting stronger all the time, and finding little things to look forward to. Right now, for example, I’m looking forward to Thursday, when I can get my sutures removed. Having your scalp crocheted with barbed wire gets old after a while.
What can I say other than that I’m grateful, I can’t tell you how grateful. I thank God every minute that we live just around the corner from the greatest hospitals in the history of civilization. What a miracle it is to be able to sustain brain surgery without any loss of the the essence of who I am! I sound the same, look the same, have the same sense of humor. People tell me I’m just as laid back and easy going as I’ve ever been. You know me — slow to criticize, never taking offense. (See, I told you I still have my sense of humor!!) God is so good! Life is so good! All of you are so good! I am so grateful and I feel so blessed.
Thank you all for your prayers, your support, your encouragement.
Never doubt that Paul and I are committed to doing life affirming activities every chance we get: we’ve had folks over for brunch, we’ve been to a movie, we’re planning to participate in the upcoming Holy Week activities at our parish (it’s what we Catholics call the Triduum,) Don’t want to get all religious on you, but these days are all about new beginnings, new hopes, and a new affirmation of life. (Didn’t your pastor explain that the resurrection is RIGHT NOW?)
Sunday’s a big day for us. We’re hosting Easter dinner and we’re prepared to fill the house with happy people who’ve filled their plates with delicious food. No concession to cancer there. Life goes on, and I intend to go on with it.
It’s not all fun and games, though. I’m in training, now; training for my next round of chemotherapy. This is the life I have today, and this is how I choose to live it: training for tomorrow. My body has to train to continue its fight against cancer — strong, well rested, alert. I’m dedicated to improving my nutrition, my exercise and sleep regimen so don’t come knockin’ when Mama’s nappin’!
I’m no different than an olympic athlete, getting ready to compete against the best in the world. Only difference is that the athlete is competing for some silly medal. I’m competing for my life! Here’s my promise to you, and my promise to myself: I’m not getting knocked out. I’m going fifteen rounds. I may have lost the first round, but there’s plenty of fight in me. This is the life I’ve been given right now, the life of a cancer warrior, and you can be damned sure I’m not going to waste one second of it.
Spring is in the air. The ground is becoming fertile again, flowers and trees are blooming, the snow and ice are melting away and the sun is starting to give us some real warmth. There’s a message in all of that. There’s a message for me, at any rate. Life waking up around me while life is waking up within me. I’m focused, I’m centered, I’m confident and I’m ready to show the cancer who’s boss.
I know you all pray for me, and for my family. Believe it or not, we can feel your prayers coming our way. Let me tell you that I pray for each of you. I pray that you can love life as much as I do. I pray that you can be happy. Happy Passover! Happy Easter! Happy Equinox! Life is very, very good!
Keep Smiling, 🙂